US vs Australia: Which is the Better Study Abroad Destination?

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us vs australia

Choosing the right study-abroad destination can be baffling for students, especially if the choice has to be made between two developed countries that offer equal career opportunities to international students. If you are someone who can’t decide if you should study in the US or Australia, then this blog is for you. We understand that the dilemma of the US vs Australia can make you a bit frustrated as both countries are among the best for pursuing education. But leave all your concerns behind because we are about to clear all your doubts regarding the US vs Australia in this blog. We will compare both nations and finally conclude which one is a better study-abroad destination. 

Let’s dive deep into the comparison between the US and Australia. 

Parameters USAAustralia
Area9.834 Million KM²7.688 Million KM²
CurrencyUnited States Dollar ($)AUD (AU$)
CapitalWashington, D.C.Canberra
Total Higher Education Providers4,313170
Total Indian Students Studying211,930 95,791
Average Cost of Living$2,500 – $3,500 Per MonthAU$2800 – AU$3000 Per Month
Average Cost of Studying$7,000 – $55,000 Per YearAU$20,000 – AU$50,000Per Year
Popular Job SectorsTech and IT, Energy, Marketing/Creative, Life sciences, Healthcare, Retail, E-commerce, and Business Services Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Healthcare and Medical, Architects, Professional Services – Technical & Scientific Area
Permitted Part-Time Working HoursUp To 20 Hours Per Week During School Sessions and Full Time During Holidays40 Hours Per Week

Top Universities: US vs Australia

Choosing the right university plays a vital role in the growth of your career. In the tables given below, we have provided a list of top universities in the US and Australia. At the end of this section, we will finally decide which country is better in terms of highly ranked universities. 

Universities in the US

Here is a list of the top universities in the USA for higher education:

Top Universities in the USQS World University Rankings 2024Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)1
Harvard University42
Stanford University53
University of California Berkeley (UCB)108
University of Chicago1113 
University of Pennsylvania1214
Cornell University1320 
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)156
Yale University169
Princeton University177
Columbia University2311
Johns Hopkins University2815
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)2921
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor3323
New York University (NYU)3824 

Also Read: Study in USA: Things You Need to Know Before Studying in USA in 2023

Universities In Australia

Here are the top universities in Australia:

Top Universities in Australia QS World University Rankings 2024Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
The University of Melbourne1434
The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)1971
The University of Sydney1954
Australian National University (ANU)3462
Monash University4244
The University of Queensland4353
The University of Western Australia72131
The University of Adelaide8988
University of Technology Sydney90133
Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia)130192

Which Country is Better?

As you can see from the tables given above, the universities in the US hold a higher rank than the universities in Australia. Hence, we will give a +2 score to the US for this. 

Also Read: How To Choose The Right Study Abroad Destination

Admission Requirements

When deciding to pursue a degree in the US vs Australia, you need to properly assess the requirements in each country. In this section, we will go into the details of admission criteria for the universities in each nation. 

Admission Requirements For US

Let’s have a look at the eligibility criteria you are required to meet in order to be deemed eligible for admission into the universities of the US:

  • You have to score a minimum TOEFL score of 55 to 79, or equivalent for bachelor’s level programs. 
  • You must obtain a minimum TOEFL score of 55 to 89, or equivalent for master’s level programs.
  • The students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to 3.5, or equivalent in the previous study. 
  • They are also required to have a minimum score of 1500-1600 on the SAT, 50-70 on the PTE Academic, 25 on the ACT, 6-6.5 on the IELTS, and 3.7 on iTEP. 
  • The applicants need to have completed high school or equivalent. 
  • The students must have a 4-year bachelor’s degree or equivalent (when applying for a master’s degree program). 
  • The applicants need to submit certain mandatory documents like recommendations, resumes, essays, and a copy of their valid passports. 
  • The students are also required to demonstrate evidence for financial support which is needed for the I-20 Form.

Admission Requirements For Australia 

Here are the admission requirements for Australian universities:

  • The students need to have scored at least 65% in their Class 12 exam.
  • The applicants must be able to provide a statement of purpose or personal essay and letter of recommendation. 
  • The students also need to submit a CV. 
  • They also have to ensure that they have a valid visa for entering and studying in Australia. 
  • The applicants also need to score a minimum of 5.5 in IELTS, 46 in TOEFL (internet-based test), 162 in CAE, and 42 in PTE Academic. 
  • The students should also have an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Which Country is Better?

It is apparent from above that getting into a US university is a bit harder than getting into an Australian university. Hence, Australia receives a score of +2 for having an easier application process for its universities in the US vs Australia contest. 

Also Read: Best Countries to Study Abroad

Tuition Fees

In this segment, we will discover which country is cheaper in terms of pursuing education. The country with the lower cost of studying will be given +2 points. So, let’s compare the tuition fees in the US and Australia.

Tuition Fees in US

According to the websites of the universities in the US, this is what the average tuition fees look like in the country: 

Study Program Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate $8,000 to $40,000
Postgraduate$10,000 to $60,000
Doctoral$28,000 to $55,000

Tuition Fees in Australia 

According to the websites of the universities in Australia, this is what the average tuition fees look like in the nation: 

Study Program Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate AU$15,000 – AU$33,000
PostgraduateAU$14,000 – AU$37,000
DoctoralAU$14,000 – AU$37,000

Which Country is Better?

It is apparent from the tables given above that the cost of studying is lower in Australia than in the US. Hence, Australia gets a +2 score in the US vs Australia contest again. 

Also Read: Graduate Entry Medicine Australia: Universities, Fees, Without GAMSAT

Living Expenses

One of the major concerns that come to the mind of international students while choosing a study-abroad destination is the living expenses. So, let’s compare the US and Australia and find out which country has a lower cost of living

Cost of Living in the US

This is what the living expenses look like in the US according to Numbeo:

Monthly Rent $1,382.53 – $3,055.29
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre)$3,205.66 – $4,725.85 
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal $20
Average Transportation Cost$70
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly)$306.27 Per Month

Cost of Living in Australia 

This is what the living expenses look like in Australia according to Numbeo:

Monthly Rent AU$1,827.31 – AU$3,775.63
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre)AU$8,924.80 – AU$11,645.02
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal AU$25
Average Transportation CostAU$170.65
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly) AU$453.55

Which Country is Better?

It is apparent from the tables provided above that expenses like transportation costs and apartment prices are way more in Australia than in the US. Hence, the US receives a +2 score in this section for having a lower cost of living. 

Also Read: Radiology Courses Australia: Fees, Diploma, PG, UG Courses, Universities, Scope

Work Permit and PR

Students often study abroad with the intention of finding a job there and eventually obtaining a permanent residence. Let’s see how easy it is to get a work permit and PR in the US and Australia. 

Work Permit in the US

Let’s see how a work permit is given in the US:

Eligibility for a Work Permit in the US

The immigrants eligible to receive a work permit in the US include:

  • DACA recipients,
  • K-1 Fiance Visa holders,
  • Immigrants with pending adjustment of status (green card) applications,
  • Asylees,
  • Immigrants with extraordinary abilities,
  • Certain exchange visitors,
  • Immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED),
  • F-1 students who are experiencing financial hardship who want to apply for optional practical training (OPT), and 
  • Spouses of some visa holders,
  • Approved temporary workers.

How to Apply for a Work Permit in the US?

Follow the steps given below to apply for a work permit in the US:

Step 1: You have to apply for an immigration status that enables you to work in the US. 

2nd Step: You will need to use USCIS Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization to apply for a work permit in the US.

Step 3: Prepare and submit mandatory documents, such as a copy of your original Form I-94 travel record, a copy of your passport photo page, and two 2-inch-by-2-inch passport-style photos of yourself. 

4th Step: Now, make the payment of the filing fee. USCIS charges a fee of $410 for processing most I-765 forms. 

Step 5: Once you have completed your Form I-765, gathered all the supporting documents, and paid the filing fee, finally submit your application for a work permit to USCIS.

Form I-765 processing typically takes US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) around 6.7 months. 

PR in the US

Green Cards, commonly known as alien registration cards, are issued for a period of ten years. A person who has been a lawful permanent resident for five years through employment or three years through marriage to a US citizen may petition for citizenship.

Work Permit in Australia 

The work visa usually takes 2-8 months to be processed. However, the processing time depends on the type of visa and the procedures followed to apply. Some of the work permits in Australia are TSS visa (Temporary Skill Shortage), Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa, and Skilled independent visa. 

Eligibility for Work Permit in Australia

Here are some eligibility requirements for obtaining a work permit in Australia:

  • The applicant needs to have the relevant skills and 3 years of work experience. 
  • The age of the applicant should be below 45 years of age. 
  • One must also meet the health and character requirements. 

How to Apply for a Work Permit in Australia?

Here’s how to apply for a work visa in Australia as an employee:

1st Step: Go to the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs’ official website (

Step 2: Fill out the form for the sort of visa you’re looking for.

3rd Step: Check to see if your occupation is on the list of skilled occupations for Skilled Visas.

Step 4: For sponsored visas, obtain a nomination from an approved work sponsor before proceeding with the skills testing.

5th Step: Send an Expression of Interest (EOI) to SkillSelect.

Step 6: To apply for this visa, you must first receive an invitation.

7th step: Collect your paperwork.

Step 8: Within 60 days of getting the invitation, apply for a visa.

Fill out the visa application online.

PR in Australia 

The Australian PR process generally has the following three different stages:

  • Australia Skill Assessment: This assessment is done via a designated skill assessment body. 
  • Australia PR Visa Approval: After you have submitted the required documents, the DHA assesses your profile thoroughly. You will be granted a visa if you meet their specific requirements. 
  • Preparation for Departure: If the candidate gets Australian PR visa approval, he/she has to move to Australia as per the initial entry date written on the visa grant letter. 

The PR process on average takes around 6 months to 1 year in Australia. 

Which Country is Better?

As apparent from above, getting a work permit and PR is easier in Australia than in the US. Hence, Australia receives +2 points in this segment of the US vs Australia contest. 

Also Read: Chemical Engineering in Australia: Salary, Jobs, Courses, Companies

Average Salaries: US vs Australia 

The average yearly salary is $55,260 in the US after finishing graduation according to Indeed. On the other hand, it is $85,502 after finishing postgraduation, as per Glassdoor. Coming to Australia, the average salary stands at AU$ 74,497 per year after graduation and AU$ 122,136 after post graduation, according to

Which Country is Better?

The average salary is higher in the US than in Australia. Hence, we grant +2 points to the US in this section of this US vs Australia contest. 

Also Read: PhD in Environmental Science in Australia: Everything You Need to Know

Other Major Elements

Let’s see some other major elements that are important for deciding your study-abroad destination. Here are these crucial factors:


Both the US and Australia are known for their climate diversity. From Florida’s tropical to Alaska’s cold, the US has a wide variety of climates. The temperatures in the country can range from -40 to +50 degrees Celsius, depending on the area. Similarly, Australia is often called as the land of diversity in terms of climate. From tropical rainforests to golden beaches, Australia offers a wide range of areas due to its diverse weather conditions. 


The crime rate in Australia is lower in comparison to the US. According to Wikipedia, the homicide rate in Australia in 2021 stood at 0.86 per 100,000. On the other hand, the homicide rate in the US was 3.8 per 100,000 that year. 

Culture for International Students

Both Australia and the US are popular study-abroad destinations for international students. Both countries offer a lot of career opportunities to students from a diverse range of backgrounds. Undoubtedly, both of these countries put emphasis on freedom of expression and independence.

Also Read: Masters in Dentistry in Australia


If we compute the scores of the US and Australia, we discover that both countries have received a total of 6 points, which means that it’s a draw. It is difficult to choose between the US and Australia as both countries have their own advantages and disadvantages. 

It is advisable to choose a course or area of study before applying for admission to the universities of any country. You will make a better choice by assessing the educational facilities and financial support for your selected course. With that being said, both the US and Australia are among the best study-abroad destinations. 


Q1. Why choose USA as a study destination?

Ans. Some of the best reasons for choosing the US as a study destination are high-quality education, multicultural environment, unique curriculum, and abundant opportunities. 

Q2. Is Australia a good place to study abroad?

Ans. Yes, Australia has a lot to offer to international students with its world-class universities and friendly environment. 

Q3. Which country is best to settle for Indian?

Ans. The US and Australia are known to be among the best countries to settle for Indian. 

So, this was all about the US vs Australia. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad

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